Rose-Hulman Baseball Wins 2010 HCAC Tourney to Earn NCAA Bid

longANDERSON, IND. -- Rose-Hulman advanced to the NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament for the third consecutive season with a 20-8 victory over Manchester College in the championship game of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament on May 16, 2010.

The Fightin' Engineers rebounded after falling 13-9 in the Saturday opener which forced a second championship game.  Rose-Hulman earned the extra chance at the tournament title after defeating Manchester 10-9 in 11 innings on Friday.

Rose-Hulman broke open the championship game with 10 runs in the eighth inning to turn a 10-1 lead into a 20-1 advantage.  Manchester scored once in the eighth and six times in the ninth to close within the final margin.

Seniors Keenan Long (Park Ridge, Ill./Northwestern University) (pictured) and Tim Tepe (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) shared HCAC Tournament Most Valuable Player honors for Rose-Hulman.  Long finished 10-19 with two doubles, two triples, 11 RBIs and seven runs scored over the four-game tournament.  Tepe compiled a 10-20 weekend with eight runs scored, four doubles, one triple and one home run.

Sophomore Derek Dauenbaugh (Bloomington, Ill./University), junior Andrew Oakley (Clinton Township, Mich./Chippewa Valley) and junior Chris Stemple (Mount Vernon) joined the duo on the all-tournament squad.  Dauenbaugh had a team-high 11 hits and scored three runs.  Oakley finished 2-0 with one save to play a hand in all three victories, allowing one run in 9.1 innings of work.  Stemple batted .474 with nine hits, nine runs scored and two doubles on the weekend. 

The championship game featured Rose-Hulman scoring five runs in the third inning and five more runs in the fourth to build an early 10-1 lead.  The Engineers then smashed 10 consecutive hits to start the eighth inning and score 10 runs to put the game out of reach.

Sophomore Kirk Thompson (Harrisburg, Ill.) provided the big blast in the third inning to start the offensive effort.  Thompson launched a three-run home run and smashed four hits with a career-high five runs batted in to lead the attack.

The eighth inning rally featured 10 straight hits by 10 different players to secure the tournament title.  The effort featured six singles, three doubles and one triple in succession as the Engineers took advantage of a Spartans bullpen that had to battle through five total games during the three days of tournament play.

Rose-Hulman players with three hits on the day included senior Chandler Kent (Antioch, Ill.) with three signles and three runs scored; Stemple with two singles, one double, four RBIs and three runs scored; and Long with a single, double and triple along with four RBIs.

Other Engineers with multiple hits included Dauenbaugh with a double, single, one run and one RBI; Tepe with two singles, two runs scored and two RBIs; freshman Donald Stopka (Grayslake, Ill./Carmel Catholic) with two singles; and junior Kreigh Williams (Ossian/Norwell) with two singles and two runs scored.

The total offensive included 24 hits, and for the weekend Rose-Hulman smashed a total of 79 hits at a .422 clip for four games. 

The effort made a winner of Oakley, who tossed a strong 6.2 innings to earn his second win of the weekend.  The right-hander allowed four hits and pitched around six walks but allowed just one run to improve to 6-1 on the season.  He tossed 2.1 scoreless innings to claim a win over Manchester on Friday.

In the opener on Saturday, Manchester overcame a fast start by Rose-Hulman to claim a 13-9 victory.  Rose-Hulman scored four runs in the first and three in the second, but Manchester answered with five runs in the second and five in the third to gain control of the contest.

Brett Smalley tossed 3 2/3 innings to pick up the victory, and Curtis Mallery tossed four scoreless innings for his second save to secure a Manchester spot on the all-tournament team for his efforts.

Offensively, Kaz Kalita led Manchester with four hits and scored two runs.  Ty Foster blasted a grand slam and had five RBIs for the Spartans.

For Rose-Hulman, Tepe smashed two doubles and a triple with four RBIs and two runs scored to lead the offense in game one.  Dauenbaugh contributed three hits and one run to the performance.

With the victory, Rose-Hulman advances to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the third consecutive year and has won its second straight HCAC Tournament championship.  The Engineers received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2008.

Rose-Hulman will enter the tournament with a 29-12 record and seeks its third straight 30-win season for the first time in program history.